The Accidental Creative



The Accidental Creative podcast shares how to build practical, everyday practices that help you stay prolific, brilliant and healthy in life and work. Host Todd Henry (author of the books The Accidental Creative, Die Empty, and Louder Than Words) interviews artists, authors and business leaders, and offers tips for how to thrive in life and work. Listen in and join the conversation at


  • The Universal Laws Of Creativity

    25/03/2024 Duración: 35min

    Are there really universal laws of creativity? Doesn't that sound too good to be true?In final episode of season one, hosts Todd Henry and Joshua Gott discuss Dave Zaboski's five 'Universal Laws Of Creativity', unpacking powerful insights from the first twelve episodes. They explore the dynamics of feedback and empathy in collaborative environments, the invigorating challenge of early project traction, the strategy behind juggling multiple initiatives, the transformative power of belief in the creative process, and the courage it takes to invite others into your work.Here are some key insights:1. Feedback is a dish best served with care.Navigating the fine line between directness and consideration is crucial when giving feedback. Todd Henry's candid confession about his sometimes over-aggressive approach to challenging ideas hints at the nuanced dance of pushing for improvement without bruising spirits. How can you ensure that your feedback builds up rather than tears down?2. Empathy without action leads to c

  • The Wisdom Of The Water Tower

    18/03/2024 Duración: 26min

    Have you ever noticed those water towers, scattered across the horizon, and thought "Hmm... I wonder how those work?" Well, there's actually lot to learn from them about how to manage your life as a creative pro.In this episode, we explore the idea of managing energy instead of time in our creative process. Our guests, Lisa Congdon, Brian Johnson (author of Areté), Tony Schwartz (author of Be Excellent At Anything), and Jeff Karp (author of LIT), share their insights on the importance of understanding the creative process as a journey with highs and lows. We explore the link between physical and creative energy, emphasizing the significance of managing energy effectively to achieve peak performance in our work.The episode covers essential strategies for managing energy, including the concept of activation energy, the impact of deep work and intermittent renewal, and the importance of prioritizing tasks based on their energy requirements. It also delves into the power of micro-progress, the negative effects of

  • Remarkable

    11/03/2024 Duración: 24min

    Are you "flying blind"? It's rare that everything is so clear that you can see exactly what to do. In those situations it's dangerous to just go with your gut. In creative work, you need a few external tools to help you gauge which decision is best.In this episode of Daily Creative, we explore how creators can navigate life's challenges by establishing a personal "instrument panel". We learn key insights from business leaders and high-performance coaches about living a remarkable life. Our guests include Guy Kawasaki (author of Think Remarkable), Christiana Smith Shi and Grace Puma (authors of Career Forward), and Jason Jaggard and Joseph Barkley (authors of Beyond High Performance).Key Learnings:1. Maintain perspective: Understand that situations are never as good or as bad as they seem, and use the attitude indicator to stay balanced.2. Plant many seeds: Continuously sow opportunities and remain open to countless possibilities, regardless of the outcomes.3. Embrace being underestimated: Actively pursue role

  • Mind Powers

    04/03/2024 Duración: 22min

    How do you get the most out of your mind in the moments you need your mind the most?In this episode of Daily Creative, we delve into the power of the mind and how to maximize its potential in moments of creative need. Todd Henry is joined by guests Andy J. Pizza, Juliet Funt, Charan Ranganath, Dan Doyon, and Tiago Forte to explore the various strategies to leverage the subconscious for creative inspiration. The discussion touches on the concept of incubation, the interplay between the conscious and subconscious mind, the importance of a healthy mental diet, the impact of repetition on memory and idea recall, and the development of a "second brain" to store and organize ideas for easy access.Key learnings from this episode:1. Giving our minds space and time for incubation is crucial for inspiring creative insights.2. The subconscious mind requires a healthy mental diet of high-quality stimuli to fuel the creative process effectively.3. Repetition and organization of ideas through tools like the second brain me

  • Big Black Beast With 88 Teeth

    26/02/2024 Duración: 24min

    A pervasive myth of creativity goes something like this: if it's good, it should feel easy. But that's never been the case... for anyone. The truth is, doing creative work is hard. Sometimes it's like carving marble.In this episode, we explore the challenges of creativity and uncover strategies to overcome mental blocks when facing the daunting task of generating new ideas. From the unconventional approach of famous musicians and physicists to the power of terrible ideas, we invite listeners to push boundaries, think outside the box, and embrace the discomfort of creativity.Key Learnings:1. Embrace Irresponsibility: Sometimes, the pressure to be brilliant can hinder creativity. By allowing ourselves to play around with ideas without the expectation of publication, we can unlock new pathways and generate unconventional solutions.2. The Power of Terrible Ideas: Imaginating, or intentionally focusing on terrible ideas, can paradoxically lead to breakthrough concepts. By freeing ourselves from self-editing, we c

  • Plays Nice With Others

    19/02/2024 Duración: 26min

    What was the secret weapon that made Star Wars successful? (No, it wasn't the Death Star.) And, which Oscar-winning film's script was almost not even written, if not for some harsh words from a friend?In this episode, we delve into the importance of healthy relationships, radical candor, and effective communication in the creative process. We hear stories of challenging relationships and transformative conversations that led to breakthroughs in creativity and collaboration. We learn about the pivotal role others play in our creative work and the significance of becoming the type of person others need in their creative journeys. Guests include Kim Scott (author of Radical Candor), Charles Duhigg (author of the new book Supercommunicators), and Ausin Kleon (author of Steal Like An Artist).Key Learnings:1. Healthy relationships can play a crucial role in the creative process, and the input of others can be transformative for our work.2. Radical candor, the balance between caring personally and challenging direct

  • Bambino

    12/02/2024 Duración: 21min

    Chances are, you're probably not taking enough shots.In this episode, we explore the importance of starting more and letting go of the pressure to finish everything. We discuss how embracing parallel creation and being unafraid to repeat ourselves can lead to brilliant work. We also hear from Becky Blades, Austin Kleon, Andy J. Pizza, and Ozan Varol about the significance of taking action on our ideas without being paralyzed by the fear of public perception. Key Insights:1. Overthinking can hinder creativity, so it's important to move from imagination to action swiftly.2. Embracing the process of starting multiple ideas can help identify the ones worth persevering for.3. Pay attention to the ideas that won't leave you alone, as they may be the keepers.4. Life is more of a jungle gym than a ladder; sometimes the road ahead only becomes clear as you take each step.5. Taking action on the ideas that resonate with you is crucial, as the world often lights the path ahead only a few steps at a time.Get full intervi

  • Chaos Theory

    05/02/2024 Duración: 27min

    If a butterfly flaps its wings in India, will your pizza arrive on time?In this episode, we explore the idea of interconnectedness and the role it plays in our lives and creative work. We delve into how the chaos and randomness of the world influence ideas and decision-making, and some strategies for dealing with the uncertainty. Our guests include Diane Hoskins and Andy Cohen (co-CEO's of Gensler and authors of Design For A Radically Changing World), and Brian Klaas (author of Fluke) as we discuss the strategies and philosophies they employ to navigate the complexity of interconnections, leverage them for greater impact, and cultivate creativity in the face of uncertainty.Key Ideas:1. Overcoming fixation on the first idea: The danger of latching onto the first idea and missing out on alternative, more profound connections.2. Leveraging randomness to our advantage: The idea of fighting randomness with randomness and increasing experimentation to anticipate unintended consequences and broaden the scope of opti

  • The Kid

    29/01/2024 Duración: 24min

    What does it feel like, after years of hard work, to have Jimmy Fallon rescue your album from obscurity? And then what do you do when you realize that, for all practical purposes, it really didn't make that much of a difference?In this episode, we explore Thad Cockrell's extraordinary journey in the music industry. Thad's latest album, The Kid, encapsulates his brave decision-making over the years, showcasing his resilience amidst the highs and the lows. From his unexpected "encounter" with Jimmy Fallon at a hardware store to the challenges he and his work faced during the pandemic, Thad shares how he persisted in pursuing his passion for music by playing by his own rules.Key Learnings:1. The power of perseverance and bravery: Thad Cockrell's story demonstrates the importance of never giving up, even when faced with setbacks and challenges. His journey is a testament to the power of resilience and determination in pursuing creative endeavors.2. Embracing naivete: Thad's willingness to embrace the "gift of nai

  • The Curious Death of Todd Henry

    22/01/2024 Duración: 22min

    Why would you drive a perfectly good barge through a perfectly good yacht club?In this episode of Daily Creative, we embark on a journey with Todd Henry and host Joshua Gott as they delve into the rebranding of the podcast from The Accidental Creative to Daily Creative. With the release of Todd's 7th book, The Brave Habit, they explore the deep changes and tough decisions Todd has made in his career, as he confronts the death of the brand he cultivated over 18 years. They discuss the catalysts behind Todd's decision-making, reflect on pivotal moments in his career, and explore the important concepts of bravery and having a vision for the future. The episode offers valuable insights on confronting fear, embracing change, and pursuing a vision for a better future in your personal and professional life.Key Learnings:1. Brave decisions often precede a period of transformation. Embracing change and confronting fear can lead to new opportunities and growth.2. Having a clear vision for the future is essential. Recog

  • Chosen Frozen

    15/01/2024 Duración: 24min

    Are you white-knuckling a station wagon? Or, is it possible you're just a multi-potentialite and don't know it?In this episode of Daily Creative, we explore the theme of paralysis in creativity and decision-making. Featuring insightful interviews with Emily Wapnick and Seth Godin, we uncover lessons about how to get unstuck. We learn about the different work models used by multipotentialites and the benefits of embracing varied interests and pursuits. With a focus on decision-making, the episode provides valuable insights for navigating moments of indecision and finding the courage to push through challenges.Key learnings from this episode:1. Paralysis in creativity can manifest in various forms, such as indecision, fear of failure, and the struggle to choose a specific path.2. Understanding the concept of the "dip" and the "cul de sac" can help in determining whether to push through challenges or quit pursuits that lead nowhere.3. Different work models, such as the group hug approach and the slash approach,

  • Dream Scenario

    08/01/2024 Duración: 24min

    How does learning to dunk a basketball help you sell digital ads? And, what if you got rid of titles in your company and just focused instead on tasks?These are just a few of the questions we explore on today' episode.If you want to do brave, creative work, you have to go "all in". But how do you do that when you don't necessarily love the tasks that you have to do all day? On this episode, we explore strategies for overcoming resistance and fully engaging with work. We discuss three different approaches to tackling this challenge: Mike Michalowicz's model of providing fit, ability, safety, and ownership, the "Tell Me Your Dreams" program at Common Thread Collective, and their follow-up focus on building elite performance "standard setting" at the company. Each approach offers unique insights into driving engagement and empowering us to excel.Key Learnings:1. The importance of identifying and overcoming resistance in creative work, as discussed by Steven Pressfield in his book "The War of Art."2. Mike Michal

  • Snakebite

    01/01/2024 Duración: 19min

    In this first episode of Daily Creative with Todd Henry, we explore the concept of vision and its role in our work and relationships. We hear from Joshua Gott, a consultant and strategist, and Jonbob Willis, a creative photographer and "mad scientist", who share their experiences of pursuing their passions and visions, despite fear and uncertainty. Through their stories, we discover that discontentment often leads to the birth of a vision, and that having the courage to act in the face of uncertainty and fear can lead to remarkable outcomes. The episode challenges us to consider what we might do if fear had no power over us and failure was an option, encouraging us to embrace brave action and creative courage in our lives and work.Todd Henry's new book The Brave Habit releases on January 23!Key Learnings:1. Discontentment can be the catalyst for developing a vision for the future, as it prompts us to consider what could be better in our lives and work.2. Acting bravely and pursuing our visions often involves